If you’re a fan of indoor plants, then you’ve probably heard of philodendrons. These popular houseplants come in various shapes and sizes, and there’s one for just about everyone. But did you know that there are rare philodendron species out there?
This blog post will look at some of the rarest varieties and tell you what you need to know about them.
What is a Philodendron?
Philodendrons are a member of the Araceae family, which includes plants like anthuriums and alocasias. They’re native to tropical regions of the Americas and can be found in rainforests, swamps, and even on trees.
Philodendrons are known for their large leaves and often climb up trees or other structures. Some varieties can even reach lengths of up to 20 feet!
Many philodendrons are popular houseplants because they’re easy to care for and can thrive in various conditions. They’re also known for their ability to purify the air, making them a great choice for homes and offices.
There are hundreds of different species, and new ones are constantly being discovered. While most philodendrons are common, a few rare varieties stand out from the rest.
Types of Philodendron
There are two main types of philodendron: epiphytic and terrestrial. Epiphytic philodendrons grow on other plants or trees and get their nutrients from the air, rainwater, and debris that collects around them.
On the other hand, terrestrial philodendrons grow in the ground and get their nutrients from the soil.
The most popular type of philodendron is probably the heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum).
This plant is easy to care for and is an excellent choice for beginners. It’s also one of the most common philodendrons in stores and nurseries.
What Makes a Philodendron Rare
So, what exactly makes a philodendron rare? There are a few factors that come into play. First of all, some species are naturally more irregular than others.
They might grow in specific regions of the world or have unique features that make them difficult to find.
Additionally, some philodendrons become rare because they’re no longer being produced. This could be for a number of reasons, including changes in the market or the availability of certain materials.
They might be rare due to their leaves. Variegated plants have different colored markings on their leaves, which are incredibly rare.
The variegated leaves can be caused by several things, including genetics, disease, or injury. Regardless of the cause, these plants are highly sought-after by collectors and can fetch a high price tag.
Finally, some philodendrons are rare because they are hard to care for. These plants might have specific requirements that make them challenging to keep alive or susceptible to pests and diseases.
Whatever the reason, these rare philodendrons can be tricky to come by.
13 Rare Philodendron Species
Now that we’ve covered what makes a philodendron rare, let’s look at some of the rare philodendron types.
1. Florida Ghost Philodendron
The ghost philodendron is a rare terrestrial variety that’s native to Brazil. It gets its name from its dark green leaves, which are covered in white spots.
This plant is difficult to care for and requires high humidity levels and indirect light. The white part of the leaves lacks chlorophyll, and as a result, this plant needs more light than other philodendrons.
Ghost philodendrons are also susceptible to pests and diseases, so they’re not recommended for beginners but look pretty cool in hanging baskets.
2. Philodendron Wendlandii
One of the rarest philodendron species is Philodendron wendlandii. This plant is native to Costa Rica and Panama, and it’s known for its beautiful velvety leaves.
The leaves are a deep green color. It is a slow-growing, compact plant with short stems, long petioles, and long thin leaves.
This plant is only recommended for the serious collector and requires additional care fertilizer and the perfect soil mix.
3. Philodendron Ring of Fire
It’s native to South America and gets its name from its brightly colored leaves. The leaves are a deep green color with yellow or orange streaks.
The stems are multi-colored as well giving this plant a desired look. This plant is scarce due to its burdensome care requirements and challenges in locating however it is relatively easy to grow!
4. Moonlight Philodendron
The moonlight philodendron (Philodendron cordatum) is a rare epiphytic variety native to Brazil. It gets its name from its bright yellow leaves, which are said to resemble the light of the moon.
Thinner, heart-shaped, glossy green leaves emerge yellow while young. These are relatively uncommon but highly sought-after plants due to their coloring. Mature moonlight plants can reach up to 20 feet in length.
5. Philodendron 69686
The Philodendron 69686 is one of the most rare philodendron plants in the world. Its variety is unknown, which gives reason for its unusual name.
This unique plant is a tri-lobed variety with long thin, smooth leaves. It is also a climbing variety that can reach heights up to 15 feet tall. The thick stems hold up the large leaves which can grow to several feet long.
The Philodendron 69686 is rare due to its complex care requirements and challenges in locating.
6. Philodendron Tortum
The Tortum is a rapidly growing plant that is known for its evergreen characteristics. This philodendron is one of the most unique plants on the list due to its unusual leaf structure.
It has elongated, pointy leaves that are dark green. Its long, thin leaves are often mistaken for a palm tree. As a rare philodendron species, this one is in high demand from collectors and plant enthusiasts alike!
7. Philodendron Melanochrysum
The Philodendron melanochrysum (velvet leaf philodendron) is one of the rarest philodendrons you’ll find. It’s a climbing plant that’s native to Colombia. It has beautiful, light to dark green leaves with cream veins.
The dark green foliage are also velvety, with thick stems helping to hold the plant upright. It’s a medium grower, so good for an indoor jungle plant.
A fully mature Melanochrysum has dark green leaves with goldish spots giving it the nick name of Black Gold.
8. Philodendron White Knight
The philodendron white knight (Philodendron domesticum) is a rare terrestrial variety that’s native to Brazil. It gets its name from its large, white, and green leaves.
They have deep purple stems and can grow up to 12 inches long. Philodendron white knights are challenging to care for and require high humidity levels and indirect light.
9. Lacy Tree Philodendron
The lacy tree philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum) is a rare epiphytic variety that’s native to Brazil. It gets its name from its large, deeply divided leaves.
Lacy tree philodendrons are challenging to care for and highly toxic to pets and humans alike. These plants can also grow quite large, reaching well over 20 feet in height.
10. Philodendron Pedatum
Philodendron pedatum is a rare terrestrial variety that’s native to Brazil. It’s characterized by its long, palmate leaves and creeping growth habits.
Philodendron pedatum is difficult to find in the wild and is even rarer as a houseplant. These plants can set you back a few hundred dollars if found on the larger side.
11. Philodendron Mamei
The Philodendron mamei is a rare epiphytic variety that’s native to native parts of Central and South America and can be challenging to find in cultivation.
It gets its name from its small, heart-shaped leaves. Philodendron mamei is difficult to care for and requires high humidity levels and indirect light. This rare philodendron is seldom seen in the wild and is even rarer as a houseplant.
12. Philodendron Pink Princess
The Philodendron Pink Princess (Philodendron Erubescens) is a rare variety that’s characterized by its thick dark green and pinkish-red variegated leaves. This plant has become very popular due to its unique coloring over the past few years.
These plants are difficult to find due to their rare nature. They’re even more challenging to care for, so they’re not recommended for beginners.
13. Philodendron Spiritus Sancti
Philodendron spiritus-Sancti is a rare terrestrial variety that’s native to Brazil. It gets its name from its large, deeply divided leaves. It is probably the most rare philodendron plant in the list!
Philodendron spiritus-Sancti is challenging to care for and requires high humidity levels and indirect light. This rare philodendron is seldom seen in the wild and is considered both endangered and protected.
Caring for Rare Philodendrons
If you’re lucky enough to find one of these rare philodendron varieties, there are a few things to remember regarding care. First, rare philodendrons are often tricky to find because they’re not widely available.
This means they can be expensive, so be prepared to pay a bit more for one of these rare beauties. Additionally, rare philodendrons can be delicate and may require special care.
With their unique shapes, sizes, and colors, rare philodendrons are a collector’s item. If you’re looking for something special for your indoor plant collection, be on the lookout for one of these rare varieties.
Caring for rare Philodendrons can be a bit different than caring for more common varieties of this popular houseplant.
Here are some general tips on caring for rare types of philodendron:
- Light: Most Philodendrons prefer bright, indirect light, but some rare varieties may require more or less light. Research the specific light requirements of your Philodendron and place it in an appropriate location.
- Water: Philodendrons like to be kept consistently moist, but not soggy. Water your plant when the top inch of soil feels dry, and be sure to use well-draining soil.
- Humidity: Many Philodendrons prefer high humidity levels, so consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near your plant to increase the moisture in the air.
- Fertilizer: Rare Philodendrons may benefit from regular fertilization, especially during their growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer and follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Repotting: Philodendrons generally prefer to be slightly root-bound, but if your plant has outgrown its pot, consider repotting it into a slightly larger container with fresh soil.
- Pests: Rare Philodendrons can be susceptible to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Keep an eye out for any signs of infestation and treat promptly with an appropriate insecticide.
The key to caring for rare Philodendrons is to research their specific care requirements and provide them with the appropriate conditions to thrive.
With proper care, your rare Philodendron can be a stunning and rewarding addition to your plant collection.
Where to Find Authentic Rare Philodendron Species
If you’re interested in rare philodendrons, you can look at a few places. First, check with your local nursery or plant store. They might have rare varieties that they’ve been able to source. Additionally, you can check online plant retailers or forums.
These are great places to find rare philodendrons, but do your research before purchasing one. There are a lot of scams out there, so it’s essential to ensure you’re getting an authentic plant.
You can also try plant swap meet-ups in your town. This has been tons of fun for me and you often find some real gems. The plant world is smaller than you think; usually, someone you know can source your favorites.
Always do your due diligence when it comes to rare philodendrons. These plants can be challenging to find and even more difficult to care for.
But if you’re up for the challenge, rare philodendrons can make a beautiful and unique addition to your indoor plant collection.
Are there Endangered Philodendrons?
Yes, there are definitely endangered types of philodendrons. The most notable one is the Philodendron spiritus-Sancti, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
This rare plant is endemic to Brazil and is under threat from habitat loss and degradation. Other endangered philodendrons include the Philodendron pittieri and the Philodendron venustum.
These plants are all native to Brazil and are threatened by habitat loss. Fighting to keep these amazing plants around for generations to come is important for our world.
When it comes to rare philodendron species, there are a few things you need to know. These rare plants can be challenging to find and care for, but they’re a collector’s item. With their unique shapes, sizes, and colors, rare philodendrons are definitely a collector’s item.
If you’re looking for something special for your indoor plant collection, be on the lookout for one of these rare varieties.
Have you ever come across a rare philodendron in your travels? What was it like? Let us know in the comments below!
And be sure to check out our other blog posts on rare plants for more information.